Postgraduate research 

Animal Ecology PhD/iPhD/MSc (Research)

Start dates for incoming postgraduate research students

1 October 2020 is the preferred date to start your PhD [or the date on your offer letter].

We will run a full on-line induction and training programme that may be taken remotely for the first month. Most of our doctoral researcher training programme will also be available online and we will offer many remote opportunities to help you become part of the Graduate School and wider University community.  

Research that involves laboratory work may start following the completion of induction (all labs are currently up and running).

Some types of research (such as non-laboratory work) and supervision can be carried out entirely remotely and this may be the most appropriate way for you to work at the moment.  Contact your supervisor, if you believe this applies to your research to discuss requirements for home/remote working. You may also require the agreement of the subject, school or institute convener if you wish to carry out your PhD remotely for a fixed period. You may not continue remotely unless an adequate plan is agreed to ensure sufficient work can be undertaken prior to starting the experimental work. It is important that starting remotely does not affect the overall PhD timescale.

Delayed start dates

We understand there may be good reasons to delay:

  • If it is necessary to travel to Glasgow to begin your research, but there are restrictions preventing travel at this time, then a delay to 5 January 2021 is encouraged [when we will run full on-line induction and training programme]. You may also delay to another start time with the agreement of your supervisor and Graduate School.
  • For subjects where laboratory work is required to commence immediately following on-line induction and training and you are unable to come to Glasgow, you should consider delaying your start-date. Contact your supervisor or the Graduate School in this instance.
  • If your research involves objects, artefacts, archives or fieldwork, you should discuss this with your supervisor. Some kinds of work may be able to be started remotely; in other cases, it may be advisable to delay the start-date.
  • External government sponsors may prefer a delay and the University is happy to support this.

From our point of view, there is no disadvantage in deferring your PhD to a later agreed start date. Scholarship holders should check that this can still be provided with a delayed start.

Office and study space

At present, current staff and research students are not using office spaces on campus. We do not have a confirmed date for the return to office use, but all work that can be undertaken off-campus (ie is not lab-based) should be done at home or remotely at present.

Some study spaces are becoming available on campus with a booking system in place, such as the postgraduate study space in the University Library.

International/EU students remotely starting a funded PhD

You should check with your funder that you can be paid a stipend if you are not in the UK. If you are in receipt of a scholarship, you should contact the Graduate School for advice on opening a bank account to allow stipend payments.


Seabird on a rubbish strewn beach

We aim to predict the consequences of rapid environmental change such as that due to climate, habitat loss, renewable energy growth, pollution and over-exploitation of natural resources on biodiversity and human and animal health.

Overview

The environment is changing faster than at any time in recorded history due to a range of factors including climate change, habitat loss, renewable energy developments, pollution and over-exploitation of natural resources. These changes are having profound effects on biodiversity and human and animal health, and we need to be able to predict the consequences.

Our institute integrates studies of the effects of environmental change operating at all levels of biological organisation. For instance, at the cellular level we are investigating how environmental conditions influence physiological and molecular processes including metabolism, oxidative damage, telomere loss and the rate of ageing. This is linked to studies of how individual animals and plants cope with environmental fluctuations, and how in turn this influences population dynamics, species interactions (including those between parasites, vectors and their hosts) and community structure. We conduct both short-term experiments and long-term monitoring of wild populations (at a range of field sites including loch and woodland research programmes at SCENE, our field station on the banks of Loch Lomond).

We have many links to other research being undertaken both within the institute and the wider university. For example:

  • the effect of environmental conditions on disease transmission or food production
  • investigation of how animals evolve in the face of changing environments
  • links with geographers, statisticians and mathematicians in the College of Science and Engineering

A variety of approaches are used, including collection of experimental and observational data, epidemiological, mathematical, computational and statistical modelling, bioinformatics, physiology, parasitology, immunology and polyomics (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics). Individual research projects are tailored around the expertise of principal investigators within the institutes.Basic and applied science projects are available involving field, laboratory and in silico approaches within research programs underway in both the UK and overseas.

Specific areas of interest include:

  • conservation management of African ecosystems
  • protected area management
  • measuring biodiversity and abundance (this presumably overlaps with other themes)
  • human dimensions of conservationAquatic ecosystem connectivity
  • sustainable aquaculture
  • behavioural and physiological approaches to improved production and welfare of farmed fish
  • evolutionary ecology, life-history trade-offs and phenotypic evolution
  • long-term effects of early environments on adult performance
  • phenotypic plasticity and flexibility in variable environments
  • ecology and physiology of marine animals
  • effects of Marine Protected Areas
  • effects of climate change on the abundance, body size, physiology and behaviour of aquatic organisms
  • fisheries-induced evolution
  • applied poultry science
  • evolutionary processes within rare fish populations
  • conservation strategies for rare and endangered fish and bird species
  • control of invasive non-native species
  • impact of freshwater and marine renewable technologies on fish
  • evolutionary and ecological impacts on parasite life cycles
  • avian behaviour and  ecology, including both marine and terrestrial birds
  • changes in phenology and in daily rhythms
  • migration and movement of birds, mammals and fish
  • understanding how biological clocks affect organisms' response to environmental change
  • effects of urbanisation on health of individuals, populations and ecosystems
  • effects of light pollution
  • understanding how biological clocks help or hinder organisms' adjustment to environmental change
  • cold adaptation in marine mammals and birds
  • the effect of environmental stress on the physiology, behaviour and life histories
  • applied poultry science
  • ecology of neotropical rainforest birds
  • the effect of fishing practices on the evolution of wild fish populations (fisheries induced evolution)
  • the effects of animal physiology and environmental change on animal social behaviour and collective decision-making
  • effects of exposure to pollutants on physiological systems
  • possible transmission of antimicrobial resistance between species through environmental pollution
  • effect of climate change and deforestation on vector-borne disease
  • data-driven modelling of population dynamics and epidemics
  • developing new methods for species distribution modelling

Study options

PhD

  • Duration: 3/4 years full-time; 5 years part-time

Individual research projects are tailored around the expertise of principal investigators.

MSc (Research)

  • Duration: 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

Integrated PhD programmes (5 years)

Our integrated PhD allows you to combine Masters level teaching with your chosen research direction in a 1+3+1 format. 

International students with MSc and PhD scholarships/funding do not have to apply for 2 Visas or exit and re-enter the country between programmes. International and UK/EU students may apply.

Year 1

Taught masters level modules are taken alongside students on our masters programmes. Our research-led teaching supports you to fine tune your research ideas and discuss these with potential PhD supervisors. You will gain a valuable introduction to academic topics, research methods, laboratory skills and the critical evaluation of research data. Your grades must meet our requirements in order to gain entry on to a PhD research programme. If not, you will receive the Masters degree only.

Years 2, 3 and 4

PhD programme with research/lab work, completing an examinable piece of independent research in year 4.

Year 5

Thesis write up.

All applicants must have full funding before starting their iPhD programme.

Entry requirements

PhD/MSc (Research)

A 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent

Required documentation

  • transcripts/degree certificate 
  • two references
  • a one-page research proposal
  • CV

iPhD

Second Class honours degree, 2:1 (GPA 3.0 or above) in a relevant discipline. In special circumstances, other academic qualifications, professional qualifications or experience, may be recognised as equivalent.

Required documentation

  • a copy of your degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • a copy of your academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • English translations of your certificate and transcript
  • one reference letter on headed paper
  • a copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

English Language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English.

Fees and funding

Fees

2021/22

  • UK fee to be confirmed by ukri.org (2020/21 fee was £4,407)
  • International & EU: £23,000

Prices are based on the annual fee for full-time study. Fees for part-time study are half the full-time fee.

Additional fees for all students:

  • Re-submission by a research student £540
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work £1,355
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed £350
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship £790

Depending on the nature of the research project, some students will be expected to pay a bench fee (also known as research support costs) to cover additional costs. The exact amount will be provided in the offer letter.

Alumni discount

We offer a 10% discount to our alumni on all Postgraduate Research and full Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes. This includes University of Glasgow graduates and those who have completed Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School with us. The discount is applied at registration for students who are not in receipt of another discount or scholarship funded by the University. No additional application is required.

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2020/21 fees

  • £4,407 UK/EU
  • £21,920 outside EU

Prices are based on the annual fee for full-time study. Fees for part-time study are half the full-time fee.

Additional fees for all students:

  • Re-submission by a research student £525
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work £1,315
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed £340
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship £765

Depending on the nature of the research project, some students will be expected to pay a bench fee (also known as research support costs) to cover additional costs. The exact amount will be provided in the offer letter.

Alumni discount

We offer a 20% discount to our alumni commencing study in Academic session 2020/21, on all Postgraduate Research and full Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes. This includes University of Glasgow graduates and those who have completed a Study Abroad programme or the Erasmus Programme at the University of Glasgow. This discount can be awarded alongside other University scholarships. 

Funding for EU students

The Scottish Government has confirmed that fees for EU students commencing their studies 2020/21 will be at the same level as those for UK student.

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Funding

View a full list of our current scholarships [The iPhD  is not supported by University of Glasgow Scholarship/Funding]

 

Support

Resources

We have excellent facilities for lab, field and farm-based research.  This includes aquaria, aviaries, insectaries and labs for conducting analyses in:

  • bioinformatics
  • cellular physiology
  • developmental biology
  • evolutionary biology
  • endocrinology
  • molecular ecology
  • physiological ecology

We also have:

  • a state of the art field research centre on Loch Lomond (SCENE)
  • a university farm (Cochno) and research centre north of Glasgow
  • excellent computing facilities
  • a vibrant and supportive community of researchers
  • access to additional specialist facilities through our wide network of collaborators in NGOs, communities, government agencies and research institutes worldwide

Graduate School

The College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences Graduate School provides a vibrant, supportive and stimulating environment for all our postgraduate students. We aim to provide excellent support for our postgraduates through dedicated postgraduate convenors, highly trained supervisors and pastoral support for each student.
 
Our overarching aim is to provide a research training environment that includes:

  • provision of excellent facilities and cutting edge techniques
  • training in essential research and generic skills
  • excellence in supervision and mentoring
  • interactive discussion groups and seminars
  • an atmosphere that fosters critical cultural policy and research analysis
  • synergy between research groups and areas
  • extensive multidisciplinary and collaborative research
  • extensive external collaborations both within and beyond the UK 
  • a robust generic skills programme including opportunities in social and commercial training

Our excellent facilities and dedicated staff will equip you with training complementary to a range of career options, and you can tailor your study pathway to the precise aspects that suit your objectives. 

How to apply

Identify potential supervisors

All Postgraduate Research Students are allocated a supervisor who will act as the main source of academic support and research mentoring. You may want to identify a potential supervisor and contact them to discuss your research proposal before you apply. Please note, even if you have spoken to an academic staff member about your proposal you still need to submit an online application form.

You can find relevant academic staff members with our staff research interests search.


Gather your documents

Before applying please make sure you gather the following supporting documentation:

  1. Final or current degree transcripts including grades (and an official translation, if needed) – scanned copy in colour of the original document.
  2. Degree certificates (and an official translation, if needed): scanned copy in colour of the original document.
  3. Two references on headed paper and signed by the referee. One must be academic, the other can be academic or professional. References may be uploaded as part of the application form or you may enter your referees contact details on the application form. We will then email your referee and notify you when we receive the reference.  We can also accept confidential references direct to rio-researchadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk, from the referee’s university or business email account.
  4. Research proposal, CV, samples of written work as per requirements for each subject area.

Apply now

I've applied. What next?

If you have any other trouble accessing Applicant Self-Service, please see Application Troubleshooting/FAQs. 


Contact us

Before you apply

PhD/MSc/MD: email mvls-gradschool@glasgow.ac.uk

iPhD: email mvls-iphd@glasgow.ac.uk

After you have submitted your application

PhD/MSc/MD/iPhD: contact our Admissions team

Any references may be submitted by email to: rio-researchadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk